March 21, 1937 - Anniversary of the Ponce Massacre in Puerto Rico
The Ponce Massacre occurred Palm Sunday, March 21, 1937, when a peaceful march in Ponce, Puerto Rico, turned into a bloody police slaughter, killing 18 Puerto Ricans and wounding over 200 others. The march had been organized by the Puerto Rican Nationalist Party to commemorate the ending of slavery in Puerto Rico by the governing Spanish National Assembly in 1873.
The march was also protesting the imprisonment, by the U.S. government, of Nationalist leader Pedro Albizu Campos on alleged sedition charges.
The bloodshed began when the Insular Police fired on the marchers - killing 18 unarmed civilians and wounding some 235 civilians, including women and children. A 7-year old girl was among those killed.
The Insular Police were under the direct military command of the U.S.-appointed governor of Puerto Rico, General Blanton Winship, who ordered the massacre — the largest in Puerto Rican history.